As City Council reviews the proposed cable franchise agreement between Verizon and the city, we are committed to doing the right thing for the city and its residents ("TV Choice: City Residents Should Soon Have a Cable Option," Aug. 1 editorial).
Bringing our FiOS TV service to the city will require a massive upgrade of Verizon's Pittsburgh network to all fiber optics, which likely will require the use of contractors.
We want to be clear that Verizon holds all its contractors to the highest standards regarding their hiring processes.
Verizon established a rigorous compliance program, requiring all contractors to document and verify the legal status of all their employees and their subcontractors' employees. Contractors must have their employment records audited and certified annually by an independent, experienced, professional auditor to ensure their compliance with the law. This program precludes companies unwilling or unable to follow our compliance requirements from working on Verizon's fiber-optic project.
On the customer-service front, Verizon continually strives to improve its FiOS TV customers' experience, offering such services as an online support center -- available around the clock -- and an easy, self-install process for equipment upgrades or replacements. Verizon will continue to explore with the city other ways to address residents' service needs.
Pittsburghers deserve the many benefits of cable choice that their neighbors enjoy today, and we urge Pittsburgh City Council to make that happen by approving the franchise agreement at its Sept. 8 meeting.
GALE Y. GIVEN